by Daniel Klaeren
Finding a workplace with an organizational culture that fits your work style is a critical component of any job search. Unfortunately, the important piece of the puzzle is frequently overlooked by job seekers. This problem is partially due to the work involved in accurately identifying an organization’s culture.
To find the right fit, you have to first consider the cultural features you personally like or dislike. Below are some questions to help sketch a rough picture of your organization’s culture. If you are currently seeking a new job, think about these points and use your answers to screen potential employers.
1. How do employees communicate?
Do employees often get together and brainstorm, bouncing ideas off of one another? Or is there a formal chain of command that ideas have to go through? Do all questions or requests have to be submitted by email, or is it more typical that employees will simply have a conversation?
2. Is the team dynamic positive?
Do employees work together on the same projects? Do they socialize at work? Are they expected to socialize outside of work? Does everyone work individually? Is there a healthy camaraderie between the employees?
3. What motivates employees?
What is the driving force for employees to come to work each day? Is it to earn the highest sales commission possible? Or, perhaps to spread the message about an issue of personal significance? Why do employees want to work at this organization?
4. How flexible is the work environment?
Does every employee have to clock in and out at the same time, or is the expectation that employees can get their work done within flexible hours? Are employees allowed to pursue ideas that could benefit the organization?
These questions can be a springboard for either forming a picture of the potential workplace or helping you evaluate your current organization’s culture. By defining the type of culture that could help you thrive, you can make your job search and your continual professional development much more satisfying.